MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

and more.. and still writing ...


Search MusicWeb Here


Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers


Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Fantasie-Impromptu Op.66 [4:53]
Polonaise-Fantaisie, Op.61 [12:14]
Waltz No.7 in C Sharp Minor, Op.64, No.2 [2:53]
Waltz No.11 in G Flat, Op.70, No.1 [1:59]
Waltz No.14 in E Minor, Op.posth. [2:53]
Ballade No.1 in G minor, Op.23 [8:36]
Berceuse in D flat major, Op.57 [5:01]
Tarantella in A flat major, Op.43 [3:13]
Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op.27, No.1 [5:21]
Nocturne in D flat major, Op.27, No.2 [5:53]
Thierry de Brunhoff (piano)
rec. 1961

Two composers at the centre of Thierry de Brunhoff’s (b. 1933) repertoire were Chopin and Schumann. It’s hardly surprising when you consider that, from the age of nine, he studied with Alfred Cortot at l'Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, becoming his favourite pupil. Though he hasn’t recorded for many years, studio performances can be found by those willing to explore the second-hand market. I picked up a couple of ‘twofers’ recently, testimony to his fine pianism. One had been released in the now defunct ‘Rarissimes’ series, issued by EMI France in 2004 (585249), containing music by Chopin, Schumann and Weber. Another issue is of the complete Chopin Nocturnes on Pantheon D22727. I’ve also seen a CD of Weber piano works on Erato, apparently only available in Japan. Expanding his discography, Forgotten Records have made a CD transfer of this rare French Vega LP of Chopin works in warm, intimate re-masterings.

Thierry de Brunhoff begins his recital with a sparkling Fantasie-Impromptu Op. 66, not over-sentimentalizing the middle section. The Polonaise-Fantaisie is intense and dramatic, and generous on rhetorical eloquence. To the Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57, he brings a charming simplicity, and his sensitivity of touch and delicate filigree adds tonal colour to each variation. Although the left hand metric regularity can seem monotonous in some hands, not here; there’s a tremendous improvisatory feel in the pianist’s rhythmic elasticity. There’s some technically assured playing in the G minor Ballade, with de Brunhoff displaying instinct and intuitive feeling in his traversal of the emotionally charged dramatic narrative. A hypnotic beauty imbues his Nocturne in D flat major, Op. 27, No. 2, where the melody gently floats over the left-hand semiquaver arpeggio accompaniment. Tenderness and tranquillity inform the reading, with de Brunhoff basking in the ardent lyricism of this popular piece.

In the mid-1960s de Brunhoff was involved in a serious car accident, which adversely affected his concert career, so he began to focus on teaching. In 1974, as Frère Thierry-Jean, he entered the Benedictine monastery of En Calcat near Toulouse where, as far as I know, he remains to this day. By strange coincidence, I recently came across an excellent recording of some Schubert piano works by another French pianist, though born in India in 1947, called Jean-Rodolphe Kars (Decca Eloquence 480 6575 (Schubert) as well as 468 552-2 and Decca 470 190-2), who also answered a religious calling. Brought up in the Jewish faith, he converted to Catholicism in 1976. In 1981 he gave up his concert career and, in 1986, entered the priesthood, becoming Père Jean-Rodolphe Kars. Since 1986 he has been Chaplain of Paray-le-Monial, a town in the Burgundy region of France.

No notes are provided with this release but there is an abundance of material on the internet on Thierry de Brunhoff, and some interesting Youtube postings.

Stephen Greenbank



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass

Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1